Galveston cruises depart through Galveston Bay into the open ocean. (Photo: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images )
Galveston's cruise port is about 50 miles southeast of Houston, Texas. A total of four cruise lines call Galveston home: Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Disney Cruise Line. December cruises departing from Galveston sail mainly to the eastern and western regions of the Caribbean, visiting such destinations as South America, the Bahamas and Mexico.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line (carnival.com) offers 11 cruises aboard the "Carnival Triumph" and "Carnival Magic" ships in December 2011. Seven different sailing itineraries are available, which include the ports of Key West, Florida; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Cozumel, the Yucatan Peninsula, Grand Cayman, Belize and the Bahamas. Voyage lengths range from four to eight days, and passengers spend between one and four days at sea. In December 2012, 13 Carnival cruises depart from Galveston aboard the same ships, offering similar port-of-call itineraries plus one new location - Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan. Cruises aboard Carnival ships in December 2012 range from four to seven days in length. Shore excursions available for these voyages include visiting ancient Mayan ruins, historical city tours, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, horseback riding and wildlife encounters.
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International (royalcaribbean.com) offers four cruise voyages in December 2011, visiting the western Caribbean ports of Roatan Honduras; Falmouth, Jamaica; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Belize and Grand Cayman. Cruise lengths are seven to eight days and passengers will spend at least three days at sea aboard Royal Caribbean's "Mariner of the Seas" ship. In December 2012, Royal Caribbean offers five sailing dates to the western Caribbean with the same ports of call and one additional stop in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. All December 2012 excursions last seven days, spending a total of three days at sea. Available shore excursions for these cruises include exploring lost Mayan caves, underwater submarine excursions, scuba diving, snorkeling, wildlife encounters, bottom fishing, helicopter tours and zip lining.
Disney Cruise Line
According to Galveston Cruises and the Disney Cruise Line (disneycruise.disney.go.com) websites, Disney cruises will begin departing from the Galveston cruise port in September 2012. Disney's cruises in December 2012 will consist of five voyages aboard the "Disney Magic" to the western Caribbean. Cruise lengths range from six to eight nights, spending three to four days at sea. Cruise ports for Disney's western Caribbean sailings include Grand Cayman; Key West, Florida; and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Available shore excursions include Atlantis submarine expeditions, dolphin and stingray encounters, scuba, snorkeling and kayaking tours, golfing expeditions and tours of Mayan ruins.
As per Princess Cruises (princess.com) and Galveston Cruises websites, the Crown Princess ship will begin sailing from Galveston, Texas, to the western Caribbean. In December 2012, Princess Cruises features two seven-day voyages that visit ports such as Belize City, Cozumel, Costa Maya and Roatan, Honduras. Each of Princess Cruises western Caribbean voyages spend two days at sea and offer shore excursions such as snorkeling and diving adventures, various tours to Mayan ruins, cave tours and sailing and fishing adventures.